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List Programming Languages on a Resume — Here’s How!

List Programming Languages on a Resume — Here’s How!

Being able to program in the modern world is hands-down one of the most important and versatile skills one can have.

Every industry around the world requires websites, or they may require gadgets or machinery in their stores.

Because this is such an important skill, it is incredibly important to list it properly on a resume! Let’s look at the best ways to do so.

 

How To List Programming Languages on a Resume

Programming language proficiencies should be listed in the skills section. If they were utilized in past job experiences, mention them in the experience section also. For the technology industry, the relevant skills section may be moved above the experience section.

Jobs in the technology industry are often highly specialized jobs requiring prior knowledge of a wealth of different subjects.

Having specific knowledge of a programming language is often written plainly in job advertisements, making it one of the most important things you need to display on your resume.

Remote work is also becoming the norm, and a lot of IT jobs fall into this category. Specify that you have experience in this, and an employer will find value in that expertise.

Because employers do not spend much time reading each resume, you want to be sure that proficiency in a programming language is displayed on the very first page of your resume.

While the skills section typically comes after the experience section on a resume, a necessary skill is a case where this should be moved above the experience section.

The prominently displayed skills section is often changed to say “Relevant Skills” as the header. You should only be listing extremely relevant skills in this special section at the forefront of your resume.

If you have additional, less relevant skills you wish to add, include them at the end of your resume instead. 

 

How to list programming languages in the relevant skills section

When listing proficiencies in programming languages, you should keep it brief and without much description. You may choose to include how many years you have used it, or simply list it as “Proficient in X”. Do not include dates in this section, and keep skills in order of relevance. 

Skills such as programming languages are well understood by employers, so there is no need to insult their intelligence by clarifying things.

For job ads that specified a certain number of years experience in a language, it is best to include how many years of experience you have with it. 

Quite often a relevant skills section will be centered rather than aligned on the left. This helps to break up the formatting on a resume to make it easily read and is highly recommended. 

This will look as follows:

 

Relevant skills

  • 2 Years experience with C++
  • Managing remote teams 
  • 3 Years experience with Java
  • Cybersecurity

 

Formatted on your resume, it should look like this (see above)

 

You do not need to include the number of years for your experience with programming languages, but it is a good idea to. Employers may not bother calling you in for an interview to see how many years experience you have.

They may choose to save themselves time and call the person who listed their experience clearly! 

Including the exact number of years you have studied or used a programming language is especially important for those who do not have much experience.

It does not matter whether the skill is professionally learned, or self-taught.

It is important to make it clear how much proficiency you have in programming languages, and the number of years is the best way to quantify that.

Another excellent way to list programming language experience is to include any certifications you may hold.

While certifications are not required to have proficiency, they do a lot to reassure an employer that you know what you are doing. 

 

How do you list a programming language certification on a resume?

If you went the extra mile and got a certification in a programming language, it is best to keep this in the certifications section. Include the certifying body, and list the date acquired. 

The relevant skills section should still include your years of experience with the programming language, but the certifications section will include a bit more detailed information about your certification. 

It is not necessary to list a programming language proficiency in both sections, but it is recommended to do so if one of the main criteria for a job involves said language.

This is to express both certified skills by an educational body, and applicable skills by a company or other professional body.  

You may use an abbreviation for the month, or list it as a full word. When listed in the certifications section, proficiency in a programming language should look as follows:

 

Certifications

  • Certified Associate in Python Programming Python Institute (3-2016) 
  • C++ Certified Professional Programmer C++ Institute (5-2017)

 

The last place you may put a programming language on a resume is in the experience section. This should only be done if you used that language in the specific job you are listing. Let’s look at how this can be done:

 

How to list a programming language in the experience section

List the job which you had worked as you normally would including the company name, your position, and the dates. Include the responsibility of using a programming language in the bullet points, and any other relevant information. 

Because the dates of employment are listed in this section, it’s not necessary to list the number of years next to the bullet point that includes the programming language.

Specify any projects that you worked on in order to best show your expertise in the language. 

When formatted correctly, an experience will look like this:

Experience

Justwork Inc – Senior Software Developer (5-2014) – (10-2019)

  • Led a developer team of 20+ people to develop individualized software with C++
  • Maintenance of web applications including updating Javascript programs

It is still best practice to include the programming language experience in the relevant skills section to help it stand out (when relevant to the job).

By including it in the experience section as well, however, you show an employer that you can apply your knowledge in a professional setting.